As all the world knows, the big secret of Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? was that George and Martha never actually had an offspring. Now perhaps, playwright Edward Albee is making amends for that fact because he's titled his latest, The Play About The Baby.
As reported by Variety and confirmed by Almeida spokesperson Janine Shalom, the play will premiere at the Almeida Theatre, Sept./Oct. 1998. Howard Davies, who staged an acclaimed London revival of Virginia Woolf?, will raise Albee's Baby. Other Albee works include Three Tall Women and A Delicate Balance, a revival of which opens at the Haymarket Oct. 21, with Eileen Atkins and Maggie Smith.
Also upcoming at the Almeida:
Dec.4 -Jan. 31, 1998: The Government Inspector, directed by Jonathan Kent, co-artistic director of the Almeida. Ian McDiarmid, the other co-artistic director, stars with Tom Hollander.
April 2, 1998-May 23, 1998: Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh, directed by Howard Davies starring Kevin Spacey as Hickey. Spacey starred on Broadway in Lost In Yonkers and in Playwrights Horizons' 1988 Right Behind The Flag, as well as such films as The Usual Suspects. O'Neill is currently represented Off-Broadway with an avant-garde staging of his unfinished drama, More Stately Mansions, staged by Belgian-Dutch director, Ivo van Hove.
After Iceman, the Almeida will stage David Hare's next play, The Judas Kiss, about Oscar Wilde, to be directed by former National Theatre artistic director, Richard Eyre. "The hope is that Liam Neeson will play Wilde," said spokesperson Shalom. Other Hare works include Amy's View (will be the eleventh David Hare play produced at the Royal National Theatre), following Plenty (1978), A Map Of The World, Pravda, The Bay At Nice / Wrecked Eggs, Fanshen, The Secret Rapture, Racing Demon, Murmuring Judges, The Absence Of War, and Skylight. As reported in Variety, the Almeida also plans on a Phaedra that re-teams actress Diana Rigg and director Jonathan Kent (Mother Courage, Medea -- which came to Broadway). Says Shalom, "We can't say what slot it'll go in, but it'll definitely happen."
Also on tap for the Almeida is a four-week opera season (June-July 1998) and as-yet-unannounced shows coming between Judas Kiss and Racine's Phaedra.
For more information about the Almeida season, check out their website, http://www.almeida.co.uk. For box office information call (011)44-171 359-4404.
--By David Lefkowitz